• Laurie Bell

It’s a Question of Affordability. . .



No one ever wants to pay too much. I get that but, more often than not for me, it’s about doing my best to get value for my dollar and I use the same principles to get the best value for my clients.

We have all at some point paid more than we thought we should have had to for goods and services but, as many of us have learned over the years, the lowest price doesn’t always deliver the best value.

A few weeks ago a client made the decision to work with me instead of a company suggested to her by a friend. She and her daughter made that decision primarily because both she and her daughter felt immediately comfortable with me. They also shared that they made the decision to work with me because I didn’t suggest that she invest time, energy and $$$’s attempting to sell things before she knew the size and layout of the retirement residence suite that she would be getting. She was on a waiting list for a suite and it was anticipated that she would be able to move later in the year. The approach to begin to sell furnishing and décor items now would have generated more line items for a competitor’s service but honestly to what end? Certainly in this soft market for used furniture our client wouldn’t have seen the value for their additional time and dollars spent and depending on the actual retirement residence suite acquired, some items may well enhance the décor and make it feel more like home for my older client.

I try to manage expectations from the get-go and I would rather be on the high end when estimating time needed and associated costs. I gauge the time to make space planning decisions, the costs of an average move, the costs of our dream team pack in one day, packing supplies and unpacking and set-up costs that typically involve the same dream team members. Depending on the client’s situation, it may also include some removal costs for donations, junk or some of each.

I also share that I don’t mark-up or accept referral fees from our trusted suppliers. This means that our clients’ packing supplies, the actual moving costs and junk removal charges are not money makers for Moving Seniors with a Smile Inc. I source out the best value from our vetted service providers. Why do I choose them and in many cases, continue to refer the same services for years? Because they make me and Moving Seniors with a Smile Inc. look good, not because they line my pockets.

Senior Move Management is a service that not everyone is familiar with. The vast majority of our clients remember doing much of the work themselves the last time they moved. This might have been twenty, thirty, forty or even fifty years ago and then they were often moving to larger space. People were in an acquiring phase of their lives so getting rid of furniture and belongings wasn’t typically a problem that they have had much experience with.

Friends and family were often recruited to help and old newspaper was a packing supply of choice. Time passes and things change. Family members may not live as close or they may be feeling the time constraints of busy careers, kids of their own and the pace of life today. Your health and mobility needs may have played a major role in your decision to move, not to mention your own energy levels aren’t the same either. Doing it yourself may simply not be an option and realistically, your adult children aren’t getting any younger either.

I will also suggest that trying to do things on your own may not in fact save you the $$$’s that you hope it will anyway. In all likelihood you don’t know the best, reliable and most cost effective suppliers. And chances are you don’t have the relationships with them that I have cultivated over the years. The folks that I recommend may well do a good job for you if you contact them directly but honestly, when someone needs a service once every ten or twenty years they may not get quite the same service as someone who uses them a few times a month.

So in the end price does not equate value – it is only one factor when considering affordability. Reliability, excellence in service delivery, and a talent for space and design details matter too.

You may love the idea of managing your own project but then again, you may not. You may love your family members but then again you may know in your heart that you are not necessarily the best person to help them through a major, emotional transition. My background in mental health support, crisis intervention and dispute resolution creates another value added component to our knowledgeable, sensitive and practical service.

I am sure that you have heard that expression: “If you think that hiring a professional is expensive try using an amateur”. Does peace of mind have value? Of course it does. Discover just how much when you engage the reliable and affordable services of the dream team at Moving Seniors with a Smile Inc.

If you believe that your contacts may find this helpful, please share and visit us at www.movingseniorswithasmile.ca